Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

you smell like Ninang

Our kids often get us confused. Amy came upstairs this morning wearing a pair of my shorts.

Noah: Hi, Ninang!
Amy: I'm your mom, not Ninang.
Noah: Oh....(hugs Amy). But you smell like Ninang.

Monday, June 29, 2009

thank you

Amy wrote this letter in the hospital and asked me to post it on my blog.

If you said a prayer or held us in your thoughts,
If you prepared a meal or washed dishes,
If you helped buy diapers or baby food,
If you mowed lawns or watered gardens or picked up mail,
If you sent cards, flowers, photos, or reading material,
If you shared your knowledge, offered reassurance, or did research,
If you sat with me, held my hand, stroked my hair or read to me,
If you snuggled my kids, made them laugh, or comforted them when they cried.

If you did any of these things--
thank you.

Your blessings have helped us heal.

The Eddy Family

Friday, June 26, 2009

HELP!

Hello dear readers,
You all have been so generous with your time and energy, I'm putting out another request. Our childcare plans have changed dramatically.

I've been feeling sick for the last several weeks and assumed it was due to the stress of raising Irish triplets. However, it turns out that Joe and I are expecting our own little one next March! Unfortunately, early pregnancy and I don't really get along well and I've been struggling to keep up with the 3 kids.

The girls will be staying in Lewiston instead of returning to Idaho Falls. Amy will (hopefully!) be discharged early next week and will also be staying in Lewiston and is wanting to have her children closer to her.

So, we are looking for people to help with childcare from 8am-5pm on Monday through Thursday (available dates June 29-July 9) for the next two weeks in Lewiston. Mary Kate Meyer is going to be here all day, but needs at least one adult to be home. Kate and Glory will be here every day and Noah will be here most days. If you can help for a whole or half day, please email me (princessjennivieve@hotmail.com).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

a happy reunion


Amy got to see Glory today (Kate hopefully tomorrow...when her cold clears up). It was a happy reunion! Glory slobbered all over her mama's droplet precaution mask, so we hope Amy doesn't get sick, but I think Amy felt it was worth the risk to see her little chubby kiddo. Noah tried to keep his mask on while he watched cartoons and tried not to push the nurse call button TOO many times.

Amy is doing well. Her neurologist wants to keep her until next Wednesday, but Amy is hoping she'll be discharged this weekend. Her physical therapist was impressed with her recovery and thought she may not even need inpatient rehab at all. We'll see...but we're encouraged.

at the park with Aunt Deanna

During bedtime one night, Aunt Deanna offered to take Sam to the park while Joe and I bathed the girls. I gave him a little pep talk, "Sam, Aunt Deanna is going to take you to the park and you'll have so much fun. And Mom will be right here if you want me."
I shouldn't have bothered. He took off with Aunt Deanna without a second look back. After bedtime, I walked over to talk Sam into a bath...but not before getting in a few runs down the slide.
Deanna is a great photographer and took some entertaining pictures she likes to call "Boy with Stick". I won't post them here, so she can post them on her blog later.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

you haven't lived...

...until you've driven almost 600 miles in one day with twins by yourself.

I think I may just have to stay here permanently because I'm not sure I can stomach the trip back. But, Kate, Glory and I are here in Lewiston safe and sound. We're planning on heading back Saturday or Sunday...if I've recovered by then!

12 month (well, 13 month) bear pictures

Thanks to Aunt Deanna, we finally got his final bear picture taken. When things slow down, I'm planning a slide show so you can see all the bear pictures together.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

for Team Eddy

Dear Mom, Dad, and Noah,

Kate and I have colds, so we went to bed really, really early last night. Now, Ninang and I are the only ones up on this beautiful morning at 5am. Ninang would like us to sleep longer, but I tell her, "Hey, at least we only got up once each last night...stop crying about it already." So, since we had to be up anyway, we decided to make this blog post for you.

You know the best thing about being a twin? You always have a buddy.
Someone to share your toys.
Someone to babble to.
Someone to stick a foot in your face.
Love,
Glory

Monday, June 22, 2009

today's pictures

Recent Kate & Glory pictures are here. All 3 kids decided to get up around 5am yesterday and were ready for naps about the same time as 9am Mass. Fortunately, we got them all to sleep and Deanna stayed home with them while Joe and I attended Mass. After Mass, all kids were up and we went to the park to avoid going stir crazy. Deanna brought her fancy camera and we got some great pictures. Hopefully, I'll get some more posted later.

Amy's doing better. She's in the ICU, but not officially an ICU patient. Yesterday, she walked down the hall, fed herself, and got rid of her foley catheter. She started having some numbness again, so they reinserted her central line and are going to give her another 5 day course of IV IG.

The girls and I will be in Lewiston starting Wednesday night (or Thursday morning, depending on how 600 miles in the car with two babies and me goes) and Sam and Joe will be holding down the fort in IF.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

wedding

Last Saturday, Mom and Dan watched all the kiddos so we could go to Tony and Tenley's wedding. Dan said we might as well have some fun because it was the last time we'd be kid free for awhile. So, we drove down to Salt Lake to help celebrate.

On the way down, there was a huge, huge thunderstorm. We couldn't even see the car in front of us. After the storm passed, Joe joked, "At least it's not an outside wedding."It was. But it didn't phase the bride and groom. The ceremony got started a little later while things dried out. But the bride and groom didn't seem to mind. Their music died, so they had to wait while they found a power source. But the bride and groom didn't seem to mind. After the reception, Joe and I went out for a drink before turning in for the night. I had the best martini ever...a lime basil Thai martini. Maybe I'll have another one in August when we only have one child again.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

doing better

Amy fed herself applesauce today. It seems like a small thing unless you consider that 2 days ago she couldn't breathe for herself. (Kevin is wearing a mask because there is flu going around and they are just trying to protect Amy).

She looks ready to get back to bouncing babies to me, doesn't she?

Picture courtesy of Amy's RN, Richelle, at TriState Memorial Hospital.

a full house

Aunt Rissa, Lauren, Hails, Syd, A. Chols, Lola and Uncle Noy came down to Lewiston to celebrate Mom's birthday last week. Even though it wasn't the happiest of times with Amy in the hospital, we still managed to have a good time. All of us sisins (and Noah, Kate and Glory) played Red Light Green Light and Tunnel tag. Then, Aunt Rissa whipped out a tent she'd gotten for Sam and the party was on!We thought it would be a good idea to all try to squeeze in.
Even the birthday girl.
The tent was really small...Kevin wouldn't fit in it. But the rest of us Filipinos did. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

rub a dub dub...three babes in a tub

video
Again, no babies were harmed during the filming of this video...not even a little bit.

extubation!!!

They are going to try to extubate (take out her breathing tube and off the ventilator) Amy today. Please pray for a successful (and permanent!) extubation.

UPDATE: Amy was extubated around 9am. When I called at lunch, she was on oxygen breathing on her own and maintaining an oxygen level of 98%. She was sitting in a chair and had brushed her teeth. She can't talk for the next 24 hours due to being intubated for so long, but she's doing well!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

amy update

Amy continues to make progress, but had a harder day today with a lot of gagging on her ET tube. They tried to adjust it with marginal success. Gagging and coughing all day is exhausting, but still, they are noticing she is getting much stronger. They'll reassess her respiratory status in a few days and decided if she needs a tracheostomy or not. They are starting to make longer term plans, including talking about transferring her to a long term rehab facility that specializes in ventilator care in Post Falls, ID because she is getting stronger, but may still need to be on the ventilator while she gets stronger.

In other news, Joe and I have talked a little and are going to be blogging a less often. Amy has a lot of ups and downs and so we'll be posting updates every few days to sort of consolidate the news and, also, be more efficient with our finite time in raising 3 children. :) I will post any news-breaking information in a timely manner, but otherwise, expect a post every few days. Thank you for understanding. We just realized that we will be having the girls for at least another month and can't really keep up this pace of blogging and keep up with our house, family, work, etc. We will continue to post pictures of the girls to keep Amy updated, though.

Aunt Deanna is here!

Dear Mom, Dad, and Noah,

Exciting news here today: Aunt Deanna arrived and is staying with us for the next several days to help out...even though Aunt Deanna is 34 weeks pregnant. Uncle Joe says, "I hope she doesn't have that baby while she's here...we can't handle any more babies around here." Ninang said it didn't matter; we'd just make her fly home straight from the hospital if that happened. (She was just joking, though...we think).When we all got home from daycare with Ninang, Aunt Deanna had put away all our laundry, mopped the floor and vaccuumed, so all that we had to do was play, play, play. Sam was even in a better mood and thought he would take a break from crying to have some fun. We think we're starting to grow on him.Ninang brought us this basket of blocks for us to play with, but the coolest part was the ribbon on the end. We were fascinated by them for a good 20 minutes. We didn't even realize we hadn't napped or that we were sitting by ourselves the whole time while Ninang and Aunt Deanna visited. Eventually, though, we got a little tired and both needed our Ninang. Sam was out playing with Uncle Joe, so Ninang could easily hold us both. Two babies? Piece of cake. Day at the spa. Vacation in Maui. Uh-huh. In other news, we've been sleeping really great, which we're all glad about. Glory set a new personal best last night, sleeping from 7pm to 3am. Kate is still getting up twice to eat, but sleeps well in between and snuggles up so sweetly Ninang and Uncle Joe hardly even mind.

Love, Kate and Glory

playtime

video

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

weekly wisdom: you know you're raising Irish triplets when...

  • you upgrade your ride to a stolen minivan because 3 carseats just don't fit in your Honda Civic.
  • your baby boy is suddenly your big boy and you find yourself expecting unrealistic things: "Sam, can you drop off the twins at daycare since you're headed that way anyway?"
  • every day, you realize you need to stop by the store because you are out of a) diapers, b) formula, c) baby food or d) sanity.
  • you lose a baby under the mountain of laundry that accumulates when you have 3 babies in one household.
  • you stock at least 2 sizes of diapers at your house.
  • taking care of one baby suddenly seems like a vacation in Maui or a day at the spa.
  • instead of running, your daily exercise now consists of packing 3 kids, 2 diaper bags and a partridge in a pear tree to and from the house to the van to daycare to the van to the house.
  • your husband comes home and can't shut up about the awesome twin stroller he saw at the grocery store.
  • you start sending text messages to your husband that read, "I love you. Sorry I went all Kate Gosselin on your ass this morning."

for Team Eddy

Dear Mom, Dad, and Noah,

Today, Ninang tried her hand at stay-at-home mom. She works a half day on Wednesday, so she picked all 3 of us up from daycare early and took us all home. It started out well. Sam went down for a nap and Kate followed shortly after, so Glory had some play time with Ninang.After that, when we'd all lulled Ninang into a false sense of security, Sam woke up earlier than he should have (read: woke up crabby, crabby, crabby) and Glory decided there was too much fun going on to nap. Then, Kate woke up. For awhile, though, it went okay. Glory bounced in the exersaucer. Kate practiced sitting up. Sam tried to sit in Glory's Bumbo...but his bum is too big.Then, it all went to hell. Glory realized she desparately needed a nap. Sam didn't want Ninang to even talk to Glory, let alone snuggle her. Kate, though, cooed happily and tried to tell everyone to just relax and calm down.

Fortunately, I talked Glory into a nap and then the Bingham girls arrived in the nick of time. Kate thought Melissa was both hilarious and a good cuddler. Sam finally shook his bad mood (briefly) to play with Kayla and Breanne.Those nice girls even stayed for dinner so they could help juggle babies at bedtime. Uncle Joe said it was the most relaxed night he's had and we all loved all the girls (including their mom!) who played, snuggled, and bounced us. Melissa said they'd come back on other Wednesdays, too! Not next Wednesday, of course, because we'll be on our way to see you guys for a visit!

Love,
Kate and Glory

a better day

Amy had a rough night last night. She was agitated and even pulled out her Foley catheter.

But, joy comes in the morning. She had a good rest after being sedated and woke up coherent and strengthened. She is starting to have some nerve pain in her legs, which is encouraging; the neurologist says this is a sign of nerve regeneration. They'll reassess her ventilator status later this week and decide if she needs a tracheostomy. They took out her central line and put in a PICC line. She is tolerating her tube feedings well and her strength is returning.

Joe and I will be keeping the twins for another month, but I'm hoping to head back for a quick visit next weekend with the girls.

video highlights from Wednesday

video video video

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

a little discouraged

Today has been a discouraging day in that while Amy is making progress, she will likely have to be on the ventilator for another 2-4 weeks. This means that they will probably be putting in a tracheostomy. She feels discouraged and sad...and that breaks my heart. She has also decided to give up pumping, which as been an emotional decision, but I think the right one.

Please keep us in your prayers. We will be keeping the girls a little longer.

for Team Eddy

Dear Mom, Dad, and Noah,

We had an even better day at daycare today. We remembered to take naps and did pretty well except we both decided today would be a good day to cut our first tooth. That made us a little fussy, but as soon as Ninang picked us up, we were happy again.

The weather finally turned nicer, so we all went on a walk downtown. We stopped at Great Harvest so Sam could have some pumpkin chocolate bread. That made his day. The way to that boy's heart is through is stomach, that's for sure. Glory and Kate were just happy to look around. So many people stopped us to comment on our good looks...what can we say? They're not blind, obviously! We love you guys and miss you. Ninang and Uncle Joe are doing well taking care of all of us. Ninang's friends have been helping out, too. Heather made 2 weeks of freezer meals so they (and Sam) don't starve and lent us their double stroller. Jamie and Nick came to play with us on Saturday and LeeAnne and Elizabeth stopped by, too. The cogs are still at their godparents, so things are a little calmer (and cleaner) that they would be otherwise.

Love,
Kate and Glory

chatting it up

video video

Monday, June 15, 2009

an okay day

Amy has had an okay day...not really any better, not really any worse over all.

The good news: She is tolerating her tube feedings and they stopped her IV nutrition (TPN and lipids) today in the hopes of her having all of her nutrition from her tube. This is better for her gut and normal function. She doesn't have a urinary tract infection. She is continuing to pump, although her supply is dwindling. Her blood pressure has been more stable today. She was able to breathe on her own for 15 minute periods every 2 hours today. They are putting her back on the ventilator completely for the whole night to let her rest. She's very tired, but her nurses are working to get her as much rest as possible. Everyone's hoping she's going to have a BM soon (ah, the things nurses pray for!). Her nurses continue to do a wonderful job taking care of her, including reading her this blog and playing the videos for her.

The bad news: She ran a fever today. Her oxygen levels dropped once today. Her heart rate is high (130s), but she is not having any symptoms from this. (GBS can cause autonomic dysfunction, messing with your blood pressure, pulse, etc).

for Team Eddy

Dear Mom, Dad, and Noah,

Another exciting day at Casa Kaufman. Kate and Glory had their first day at daycare where we were the belles of the ball; we had such a good time we forgot to nap. But, we did try prunes (this soy formula is making us constipated!) and they were a big hit! Uncle Joe took us home while Ninang took Sam grocery shopping. We had such a good time with Uncle Joe. Kate likes to snuggle with him and Glory likes it when he tickles her.
Sam is adjusting to us, too. He still cries every once in awhile whenever Ninang holds one of us, but he's starting to appreciate us for the wonders we are. He thinks Glory's shrieking is something to be mimicked ad infinitum, our mouths are great things to poke fingers into, and he's learning how to touch us more gently. As you can see from the picture below, it's a slow process*.Ninang and Uncle Joe tried a new bedtime tactic tonight: tackle all 3 babies at once. It worked out pretty well. We all got our finger nails clipped, bathed and jammied up. Then, Ninang rocked Sam while Uncle Joe fed both of us. We went right to sleep without even crying.

Love,
Kate and Glory

*No babies were harmed in the making of this post. Not even a little bit.

Life in Idaho Falls is a work out!

This is Glory doing push ups. She also regularly does Pilates in her spare time. video


Kate prefers the Exersaucer so she can get her squats in.
video

Sunday, June 14, 2009

for Team Eddy

Hi Mom, Dad, and Noah,

We're having a blast at Ninang and Uncle Joe's house. Sam has all sorts of cool toys and doesn't mind sharing them...too much. Uncle Joe cleaned out the Man Room and made it into a nursery. He says it's not very girly, but we think the guns add a certain je ne sai quoi to the decorating scheme.
A lot has happened since we saw you last. Kate's taking a bottle well. We told Ninang that it would be a bad time to wean Sam off bottles since there are so many bottles around; she agreed with us. Glory and Sam shared a drink after a long day of playing. Glory's sitting up for a few minutes all by herself. Kate is cutting her first tooth. We both love Ninang, but Kate especially loves Ninang, which Ninang likes so much (Sam doesn't like this is as much, but we're working on it). Glory had a fun time giggling with Uncle Joe today...he's so funny!

Ninang and Uncle Joe say they've got this twin thing down. Raising 3 babies is a piece of cake...a wiggly, teething, hungry, pooping piece of cake.

All of Ninang and Uncle Joe's friends keep telling them how lucky they are that we are such happy, sweet girls, but Ninang and Uncle Joe already knew that. Miss you all, but we're having such a good time, we might just have to vacation at Ninang's house on a regular basis.

Love,
Kate and Glory

Amy update

I didn't know how many of you were reading my blog until I failed to update yesterday (Joe and I went to a wedding while Mom and Dan watched the kiddos...more on that later) and got several phone calls and emails asking how things were going! :)

Amy's doing better today. She is regaining strength and sensation in her extremities. She was able to sit on the side of the bed today. Her intestines are starting to work again and they restarted her tube feedings. She was very tired from all of her physical therapy, so they didn't try spontaneous breathing trials today, but did decrease her ventilator support a little bit. So, she won't be extubated today as hoped, but continues to make progress.

Thank you all for your support in visiting Amy! I have sent a schedule to people who have offered to sit with Amy. However, over the weekend, her nurses and Amy noticed she was having some "ICU psychosis", where she is a little disoriented because of sleep deprivation. So, just be aware that if you come to visit and she is sleeping or trying to sleep, the nurses may ask you to come back later. Sorry about any inconvenience...these things are always a balance.

Kevin and Noah head to Spokane tomorrow. Kate and Glory are doing well here in Idaho Falls.

got milk?

Here is a video of the twins in an effort to boost Amy's milk supply. I'll try to post more, but my computer is S-L-O-W at uploading. Her nurses at TriState have been playing the video for her while she pumps.

video

Friday, June 12, 2009

continued progress

Here's the latest update: Amy is doing better from a respiratory status. She has been more lightly sedated today in the hopes of getting her to be able to cough up some of her mucus so that the nurses can suction it out (instead of having to do another awful bronchoscopy). She has been tolerating it well and doing well on the ventilator, having a good number of spontaneous (all-Amy) respirations with adequate volume!! Kevin said they are hoping to have her off the ventilator on Sunday. Her strength has improved all over and she is coughing well. She completed her IV IG yesterday. She still has an ileus and had an abdominal xray today (results pending) so she still is not able to eat.

Here's the latest needs: She was very alert today and enjoyed all of her visitors. She even got to see Noah, who told her all about his recent adventures (watching The Incredibles was at the top of his list). She did mention she really appreciated everyone coming to sit with her; being in the ICU is very lonely. She is not as agitated and now we would welcome any and all visitors (you don't have to be an official "sitter"). Mom is going to plan to be at the hospital every day next week from 6am-10am and then back at 6pm. If you think you can cover any part of the day to keep Amy company, please email me (princessjennivieve@hotmail.com) or leave a comment so we can get a schedule going. (Of course, spontaneous visits would are always wonderful but my OCD nature needs to have a plan during times like this :).

If you come to visit, you can talk and hold her hand or whatever you prefer. If you would like, she would probably love to be read to. She has recently been obsessed with the Twilight series and also likes People magazine, Us magazine, or In Touch. Also, I am planning to post updates with pictures of the girls so she can see them and if you wanted to print out an update and bring it to the hospital to show her, that would be wonderful!

On the periphery: The girls, Mom and Dan, and myself are back in Idaho Falls with Joe and Sam. It is good to be home, but hard to be away from Amy. Noah and Kevin are heading back to Spokane this week. Some swim team families and other friends in Spokane have offered to help with childcare in Spokane. I am planning on having the twins for the next 2-3 weeks and then will bring them back to Spokane.

We so appreciate everything you all have done for us, including being there with Amy when we cannot.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"generally, that means LOVE"

Kevin and I went to visit Amy tonight so I could say good-bye before heading home for a few weeks. We reminded her that she had restraints on because she'd tried to pull out her tubes earlier today and she gestured that she wanted to write. (She uses 8x11 paper on a clipboard with a marker). She tried to write several times, but kept stopping, losing her place or writing letters on top of each other. At one point, she was getting frustrated and I told her to take a break...it wasn't that important.

She nodded emphatically that it was important and then wrote this:It took several pieces of paper, but the message was: "Generally, that means LOVE", meaning that what we thought was pulling at her tube is her making half a heart with her hand toward her chest, telling us she loves us.

Love you, too, sista...love you, too.

thank you!

We have sitter needs covered through Sunday and shoes on Amy's feet. Thank you, everyone, for your help!

things are looking up

Things always look better in the morning. After I left, Amy pulled out her feeding tube and it took 2 nurses to restrain her. I know it sounds like not such good news, but it took two nurses to restrain her! Some strength is coming back. They complete the first course if IV IG today and will hold off for a couple of days and see if she needs another course. Her labs all look good. Her bleeding seems to have stopped. She is taking more breaths on her own (along with her ventilated breaths).

We clarified the surfactant issue. (Thank you to everyone who gave me such prompt and good information!). She is over all malnourished and that is what is affecting her production of surfactant; her lactating just adds to the malnourishment. They are going to try to restart her tube feedings today at a lower rate.

Thank you to everyone who has offered to sit with Amy. I will be posting some questions to ask her in the room as well as other ideas to help with her agitation. We have Friday covered and Grumpy Eddy will be staying with her this weekend overnight so will let you know beyond that.

agitated Amy

After Amy's bronchoscopy (which was difficult for her), she became increasingly agitated, but was refusing sedation or pain medication. She started having some blood drain out of her orogastric tube and epiglottal suction, but her hemoglobin was low normal, so they started her on Protonix IV (a medicine like Nexium) and carafate.

After she tried to extubate herself, she was restrained and sedated. I ended up staying at the hospital last night. It was truly heartbreaking to see my brave sister wild-eyed and panicked. She was mouthing, "Take it out" over and over again while I held her hands down. All she's been through and her panic is the one thing I can't handle.

Fortunately, things got a little better as the night wore on. When she started to grab for her ET tube, I'd remind her that was there to help her breathe, tell her she was in the hospital and she was okay...then I'd ask her yes-or-no questions ("Are you hot? Are you in pain? Are you nauseated?") until we figured out what was wrong. Periodically, it would take too long to figure out what was going on and she'd become agitated again, but I'd say, "Bear with me. We'll figure it out. I'll keep asking" and she'd calm down.

I'm working on finding people to sit with Amy while she's intubated. These sitters would reassure her and help figure out what is wrong since the nurses don't always have time to play 20 questions with her. It's not for the faint of heart, but I think a gentle, calm, familiar person would help immensely. I'm going back to Idaho Falls tomorrow and Mom will be gone for the weekend, helping me get Kate and Glory settled. Loren and Karen arrive on Saturday. Next week, Kevin and Noah will be in Spokane and Mom will be here with Amy by herself. There's no way she can possibly sit with Amy all day and all night, so she'll need some help.

So, here's putting our needs out there to all of you readers:
1. If you think you would like to sit with Amy (and feel you are a gentle, calm person :) on Friday afternoon, Saturday, or Sunday, please call my cell phone 208-569-3754 and I can give you more details. The ICU has a nice waiting room with a couch you could doze on so it's not so bad to pull night shift if you are feeling adventurous. We may need sitters into next week, but I'm hoping she'll be extubated and off the ventilator by then and less agitated, so we'll keep you posted. (Even though I'll be in IF, I'll still be in charge of posting updates and needs daily).

2. Amy needs size 8 Converse high tops. The Stroschein/Meyer family generously gave her some other hightops that have more structure, but they are leaving some pressure marks on her feet and seem to make her claustrophobic and agitated, so the nurse recommended some more flexible ones. If you could pick them up and drop them off at the hospital, let me know. Leave the receipt and your phone number and we'll pay you back!

3. Finally, the doctors think part of her problem is she is not make enough surfactant, which is a substance in the lungs that helps keep her alveoli open. They think she can't make enough because she is producing breast milk and this is sedating her. Can one of you healthcare readers see what you can find out about this? Or nursing moms? Or both? I'm going to call a lactation consultant today. If it's true, Kevin and I are going to encourage Amy to stop pumping, but we'd hate to force that upon her if it's just a theory as breastfeeding is so important to her.

Finally, happy birthday to my Mom who is an undisclosed age today. It's a hard way to celebrate a birthday, but she says, "Well, at least we're all together." :)

Today's post was made possible by:
Helen K and Mary Kate (again) who are providing childcare so I can take a much needed snooze

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Amy update #4

So, it turns out Amy doesn't have a pulmonary embolism, but rather a large mucus plug that has resulted in her left lower lobe being deflated. She had a bronchoscopy today and they removed the mucus plugs. They think she'll probably have to have repeat bronchoscopies to remove plugs as they accumulate while she is on the ventilator. So now they think her respiratory problems may be more related to her pneumonia and not as much to the GBS.

During the bronchoscopy, they only had her lightly sedated and she was fighting against the bronchoscope. While it's awful to see your sister in so much distress, it was remarkable to see the strength in her legs and arms. The nurse anesthetist commented, "She was trying to kick my ass..and would've."

The neurologist was less effusive than the hospitalist yesterday. He said it was one of the most aggressive cases of GBS he's seen, but was comforted that she was not getting worse.

She had a normal echo of her heart today. She was having extra coughing/gagging with decreased bowel tones, so they had to stop her tube feedings and increased her TPN.

Today, we clarified misunderstanding. Amy wants to keep nursing, NOT try to wean the girls. I really got confused on that one, so today we decreased her pumping intervals in the hopes of increasing her supply, although we are just dumping the milk.

That's all.

This post was made possible by the following sponsors:
Loretta Pox. and her team of baby-bouncers
Morgan who played with Noah
Mary Kate who babysat
Mandi who drove me around and brought lunch
Sue who brought dinner
Jennifer & Cody who came for dinner and to play
Molly Z who brought the ASL poster.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Amy update #3

Main point: Amy's hospitalist feels encouraged by Amy's slight increase in strength and thinks that in a few days they might be able to wean her off the ventilator. She is taking a few very shallow breaths on her own, which is better than last night, but still not enough to sustain her. To complicate things, she has developed a pulmonary embolism and aspiration pneumonia, but he felt these were manageable things. The nurse was telling me about some of these things and Amy signed "B-L-O-O-D", so we had the hospitalist come in and explain everything to both of us. If anybody has a banner of the alphabet in ASL, we'd love to hang one in her room! Call me 208-569-3754.

Other little updates: She's also been started on tube feedings today and tolerating them well. She's less engorged, so we're trying to increase her pumping interval and hopefully her milk production will dry up in a few days.

On the periphery: Many of you have been asking about the Team Eddy kiddos. Kate and Glory are doing well. Prior to Saturday, they'd had very few bottles in their life and now are taking a bottle fairly well, although Kate needs more prompting and more offering. I'd nurse them if I had anything left, but Sam decided to wean earlier than I would have liked. I'm going to take the girls to Idaho Falls with me on Friday (Mom and her Friend Dan are driving us). Noah is having a little rougher time without his mom, so he is going to stay with Kevin and Kevin's sister, Laura Kate, next week.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. In tough times like these, we have truly felt God's love in the friendship of our community. A few examples of the generosity we've experienced over the past few days:
  • Dori coming in the middle of the night to help with twin duty so I could be there with Amy while she was intubated.
  • Marcia arranging meals and watching the girls, so Noah could have a fun outing today.
  • Loretta calling and saying she'd help with kids on Wednesday.
  • Jennifer offering to bring her son by for a playdate with Noah.
  • Earl and Steve finding high-top shoes for Amy to help with foot drop.
  • Ed and Bev sending flowers, which we've enjoyed at the house since they are not allowed in ICU. They are beautiful!
  • Regina helping with ROM exercises at the hospital.
So many more people have offered to help in any way they can and we feel truly blessed. Amy & Kevin (and the rest of us) will probably need a lot of help over the next few months (or longer) as Amy regains her strength, so if we haven't taken you up on an offer of help, we soon will. :)

Amy update #2

Amy's lung volume kept decreasing tonight and she was having some coughing, so she agreed to be intubated. She was very brave...much braver than I would have been...especially with Mom and me around her. Right before she was intubated, Mom and I were teary-eyed at her feet and she asked us, "Do you guys need some Versed, too?" (Versed is the medicine they used to sedate her before intubation).

It was an eery feeling. Knowing she'd be sedated for awhile and not really able to communicate, she gave us a list of instructions about her pain (Mom worked out a signaling system with her), her kids, and asked to talk to Kevin on the phone. I know she's doing all right, but in my heart, I had this dreaded feeling that we were saying good-bye.

She did really well with the intubation. She struggled a little bit with the ET tube and coughed against the ventilator for awhile, but they found the right dose of sedation for her and she has been resting well for the last 2 hours. She is only lightly sedated, so she can squeeze hands and shake her head yes or no and says she is comfortable, so that helps take some of the anxiety of her family away.

More updates later. I'm off to bed. Please continue to keep Amy, Kevin, their children and all of the rest of us in your prayers.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Amy update

Hi readers,
First of all, Amy is doing better. She started having some problems with numbness and falling down on Thursday and was seen in the emergency room at Sacred Heart on Friday. They did an MRI to rule out a stroke or a brain tumor and she decided that since the test was negative, she would go ahead down to Lewiston because Kate and Glory were being baptized this weekend. By Sunday, though, she had gotten significantly worse and was admitted at TriState Memorial Hospital. The neurologist thinks she has Guillain Barre syndrome, which is sort of autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system. One of the worries is that it can paralyze your diaphragm and you stop breathing, so they admitted her to the ICU as a precaution. They put in a central line last night and she started treatment with IV immunoglobulin G last night.

Today, she is doing a little better. She still can't swallow, but she is able to open her eyes a little more, her speech is clearer, and she can roll herself a little in bed. I'm heading to the hospital every few hours to help her pump, which is a special challenge since she can't feel her chest and doesn't have let down. Kevin, Kate, Glory, and Noah and myself are staying at Mom's this week. Joe took Sam to Idaho Falls for the week. They expect Amy to be in the hospital for a minimum of 5 days, probably more like 2-4 weeks.

I'll try to keep everyone regularly updated via the blog. I have my cell phone on me, but I have to turn it off when I'm at the hospital.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

rain drops keep fallin' on my head

After awhile, Sam noticed he not only had a pool to play with, but Dad had started watering the yard.

Oh, what's that? A sprinkler?
It is a sprinkler! I need to touch it!

Awesome! I need to stomp my feet in the water!
Happiness is sunshine and cold, cold water.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

naked baby

The term "naked baby" has become part of our family lexicon. My cousin, Hailey, was born about 8 years after the next youngest cousin, Lauren, she became like our little sister. We'd get her out of the bath tub or be getting her dressed and we'd all yell "Naked baby!" She was such a cute naked baby.

Later, when Hailey became a toddler, she'd get frustrated as all toddlers do. So, she'd call whichever cousin she was angry at the worst thing she could think of: "You're a...uh...a NAKED BABY!"We took these pictures before bath time the other night. Sam, you're such a naked baby and I say that in the most loving way possible.

Friday, June 05, 2009

happy birthday, Daisy!

Daisy is two today! Two years ago, I flew over to Bellingham to meet my new "niece". She was a big girl already at 9lbs and didn't have any of that newborn-alien look to her; she was already beautiful. Now, she's a loving, fun little girl. Happy birthday, Daisy!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

delicious dirt

Dad says it's normal for little boys to eat dirt. Mom just shakes her head and sighs.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

splish splash

We took advantage of the warm weather and filled up Sam's empty sand box with water (yep, it's the one that used to be Schatzi's ), slathered on sunscreen, and slapped on some sun hats.Doesn't Sam look adorable in his hat?

I was calling Sam "Sunbonnet Sue" until I realized this could be somewhat emasculating. "Sunhat Sam" just doesn't have the same ring. Moving on...Sam splashed and splashed. Oh, so much fun! Later, we also played such fun games as "Throw the Nalgene Bottle in the Pool" and "Splash Mom till She Shrieks".
We also played "Try to Eat Dirt and Rocks When Mom's Not Looking". More on that later...